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Packard Foundation Announces Jamaica Maxwell as New Director of Organizational Effectiveness

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is pleased to announce the promotion of Jamaica Maxwell to director of Organizational Effectiveness. Maxwell assumes the role as long-time Foundation leader, Linda Baker, announced her departure to explore new opportunities outside the Foundation. 

Maxwell has been with the Packard Foundation since 2013, serving as both program officer and deputy director for the Foundation’s grantmaking efforts to support the strength of the leaders, organizations, networks, and movements at the heart of the Foundation’s issue areas. In those roles, she has supported organizational and movement building strategies among grantees throughout North America, Asia, and Latin America, particularly those who are working for positive, durable change for the ocean and climate. Maxwell brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her new role, including organizational development, power building, equity, and leadership.  

Previous to joining the Foundation, Maxwell spent 11 years at California Environmental Associates where she gained deep experience providing strategic and organizational guidance to nonprofits, foundations, and businesses, with particular expertise in climate change, biodiversity conservation, and food systems. She also ran her own organizational development consulting firm and served as the founding program director for the Roots of Change Fund, a collaborative working to increase the sustainability of California’s food system. Maxwell holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brown University and a master’s degree in writing from the University of San Francisco.  

“During my eight years at the Foundation, I have learned so much about the power of supporting capacity and leadership, informed by the wisdom and needs of our partners on the ground. Leaders and organizations, and the fields and movements they sit within, are the heart and soul of social change and a strong civil society. The Packard Foundation has long recognized the importance of these investments, and I am honored and excited to continue this legacy in my new role, building upon Linda Baker’s extraordinary leadership and thoughtfulness in supporting this transformative work.” 

Linda Baker has led the Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness and Directed Grantmaking efforts since 2016 when she assumed the role of director. But her tenure and impact extends back nearly 27 years. She began her work at the Foundation as a research analyst for the Center for the Future of Children and later as a program officer for Children, Families, and Communities grantmaking where she sought to improve access to health insurance for all children in California. From there, she became a program officer leading local grantmaking efforts for a wide variety of organizations in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. She supported the development and launch of the Salinas Youth Initiative, which invests in homegrown, passionate Salinas leaders and organizations who are engaging and inspiring youth during and after school in East Salinas, California.

Since 2016, Baker also led the Foundation’s Philanthropy Fund grantmaking, which invests in the strength of the philanthropic sector, as well as the President’s Fund, the board-directed Special Opportunities Fund, and other special projects.

“What a privilege it has been to support leaders and organizations as they invest in their own strength and power during such an extraordinary time of growth and change. In addition, I’m grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with wonderful funder colleagues at the Packard Foundation and around the world,” said Baker. “It is also my great pleasure that Jamaica Maxwell, a long-time leader in this critical area, will assume the new director role and continue this important work and learning journey.”